By Sharon Sultan Cutler
When I was 10 years old growing up in East Meadow, I wanted to be an adult for two reasons. The first was that I could stay up later in the evening and watch all the "good" television shows that my parents watched. The second reason was that as a child I could be "seen but not heard"; but as an adult I was sure I would be able to be both!
For a lot of us kids then, 50 years old seemed really "old" and people lucky enough to live to ripe old ages were our grandparents and their cronies. As the grandchildren of European immigrants, a lot of the foreign chatter and customs seemed weird to us, and our friends who had family from different countries had strange but intriguing customs as well. But we always showed respect and politeness to them because we assumed that with age comes truth and valuable experience.
Today, my contemporaries are called "aging baby boomers" and those of us born between 1946 and l954 are the 50-plus original boomers. According to www.LongIsland.com, about 31.6 percent of people in Nassau are over 50 versus 25.8 percent in Suffolk.
Here are some of the statistics that make us 50-plus Americans so vital to the American economy and growth:
We control a household net worth of more than $19 trillion.
We own more than 3/4 of the nation's wealth.
We spend more than one trillion dollars on goods and services.
We account for purchasing 80% of luxury travel, purchase 25% of all toys, acquire 48 per cent of all new cars, 77 percent of prescription drugs. etc.,
Also, according the U.S. Census Bureau, we are over 70 million people, representing 25% of the adult population, and one of us turns 50 every 7 seconds.
Over 35 million of us are 65 and older, the 85-plus population is currently the fastest growing segment of the older generation and centenarians (those people 100 and over who Willard Scott celebrates on "The Today Show") number more than 72,000 (U.S. Census Bureau).
So, now I can safely report that for me turning 50 was a "turning point"* in my life. Unlike Cher, I like the feelings of wisdom and serenity that have entered my boomer years. Living in an adult community where at least one person per household must be 55, I am elated to see boomers and seniors golfing, bicycling, swimming, jogging, and joining various clubs--- being as busy and energetic as they want to be. Age is what we make of it and when we fulfill our dreams and goals, life can be truly wonderful!!!
And one more thing...according to some studies the average 65 year old thinks you become a "senior" at 78. Whatever works for you, enjoy life while you can!
P.S. My "turning point" at age 50 was the surprise birthday party my fianc, Stephen, gave me, which turned out to be a "surprise wedding" for me as well as our guests.
Sharon Sultan Cutler, a Certified Senior Advisor, originally created the Long Island 50-Plus Expos as well as a Senior Hotline. Now, her new website, www.MatureResources.net is a mag-e-zine of features, news stories, aging information, health and wellness articles, government links, etc. It also contains a Professional Resource Directory, where professionals and business can sponsor their unique web information, so people can locate them and learn more about what they do. Write to Sharon at s.cutler@MatureResources.net if you have comments or questions. And visit the website often for all the latest news and views.